He rubbed his temples but the pain didn’t subside.  It never did and yet he persisted each time his head ached.  He never really thought about it either, it was just something he’d always done, some habit picked up along the way.  He did, however, force his jaw to relax because he knew if he was grinding his teeth his headache would never go away.  The clenching always come about involuntarily but with concentrated effort he could make it stop.  Most of the time.

Sometimes only sleep would provide him relief.  Most of the time sleep was a luxury he could not attain.

At the moment it felt like someone had taken a hammer to his head.  Though, in truth he didn’t really know what that would feel like and only could imagine.  He seriously doubted he wanted to know what it actually felt like but since his jaw and cheek bones already throbbed as if broken, perhaps he could at least guess.

He sighed and pushed the pain away.  It didn’t work completely but it was enough for him to get back to work.  The promise of his bed at the end of the day helped some too.  The mind, as always, was his strongest muscle.  Exercising it could help him power through everything else that needed to get done.  And there was a lot he still had to do.

The bed would be there but not necessarily sleep.  Good sleep.  Dreams.  He didn’t always want the dreams anyway.  The things he had done haunted him when they came.  He let the doubt and self-loathing consume him during his awake hours too much already to also be happy when that aspect of his psyche took control of his sleep.  Sleep was restorative and essential but he found himself pushing it off for longer and longer intervals.

He couldn’t actually remember the last time he’d slept.  It didn’t matter, though, he had work to do.


The lack of good sleep wears on
And my mind is drawn
And so I am waiting on

When will I lose all control
And pay the owed toll
And give up body and soul
For this crazy role?

Nights and days blur together
And untogether
And I have lost the tether
Against the weather.

Perhaps I won’t realize
And I’ll miss the spies
And I’ll be blind to the skies
That actualize?

Time will tell the truth of it
And see when I split
And how I rage and submit
While I throw my fit.

The lack of good sleep wears on
And my mind is gone
And my thoughts are now full on

plant by the window


They don’t look like snakes, do they?  That’s what it’s called, though: snake plant.  Supposedly they are good at releasing a lot of oxygen and that extra O2 promotes sleep.  So, there’s now one of these plants in the bedroom because sleep is such a powerful need that it trumps everything, including the fear of anything related to snakes.

Hey!  Sleep and snake are both five letter words!  Coincidence?  Yes, definitely.


I snapped this picture as a joke, and then ended up liking it so thought I’d share it here.  What do you think?  Would you bring these snakes into your house?  Do you have any other tricks or trips you’ve found work to promote sleep?

Also, want to take bets on how long before I dream about snakes after writing this?


On being a month old

My Littler Prince,

Oh, I can’t tell you how much I had forgotten about newborns.  The sounds.  The movements.  The smells – some good, some bad.  And all of it amazing.

It was shortly after the turning of the years that you decided to become a resident of the Kingdom.  It was a stormy night, dark yes but not foreboding, at the end of a stormy week.  You gave voice to your displeasure at having been forced from your previous home but quickly settled into contentedness again once you were cradled in the Queen’s arms.  Your big brother joined us all on the bed to marvel at your newness, your wild red hair, your tiny toes, and your perfection.  Our family had grown by one.

A month.  Where did the time go?  Chaotic days and interrupted nights but that’s nothing new.  That’s business as usual in the toddlerocracy.  You are growing like a weed, just like your brother did (and still does).  You are snuggly and squirmy and calm and noisy and gassy and sleepy and wide-eyed with wonder at the great world around you.  That’s the kingdom, by the way.  It isn’t perfect but it’s close and it is yours.  Yours and your brothers.

And, I can’t really say everything I want to, without some unfair comparisons to your big brother, the Little Prince.  You are angelic to his current phase of energetic destructiveness.  You have slept more in your first four weeks than he did in his first four months.  You can be put down and will happily squirm on your own where he still needs constant interaction if we don’t want him to pull down the house around us.  Unfair, I know.  I’m likely exaggerating his start to life here in the Kingdom and, regardless, you too will step up to rule the toddlerocracy one day.

Just as we will always love your big brother, despite his determination to send us closer and closer to the edge of sanity, we will always love you too.  Nothing could ever change that truth.  Nothing.  Not even when you won’t sleep in the middle of the night and I walk the hallways singing every song I know the words to, lullaby or not – you seem to like Janis Joplin, and you refuse to shut your eyes which is all it would take for you to fall back asleep.  You’ve got your parents’ stubbornness in you.  That’s good.  That will serve you well as you rise to power.  There is nothing you can’t achieve.  I may just be a Jester, but you have come from greatness all the same and you will be greater still.

Love you,

Your Daddy, Jester of the Matticus Kingdom